Assurance is unattainable without obedience.
Seventhly, The Christian’s imitation of Christ, under penalty of losing his claim to Christ, necessarily implies sanctification and obedience to be the evidences of our justification and interest in Christ: Assurance is unattainable without obedience; we can never be comfortable Christians except we be strict and regular Christians. Gal. 6:16. “As many as walk according to this rule, peace be unto them, and mercy; and upon the Israel of God.” A loose and careless conversation can never be productive of true peace and consolation, 2 Cor. 1:12. “This is our rejoicing, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world.” Let men talk what they will of the immediate sealings and comforts of the Spirit, without any regard to holiness, or respect to obedience; sure I am, whatever delusion they meet with in that way, true peace, and consolation is only to be expected and found here: “The fruit of righteousness shall be peace, and the effect of righteousness quietness, and assurance for ever.” We have it not for our holiness, but we always have it in the way of holiness. And so much of the first particular, namely, what the imitation of Christ implies and comprizes in it.
Flavel, J. (1820). The Whole Works of the Reverend John Flavel (Vol. 2, p. 401). London; Edinburgh; Dublin: W. Baynes and Son; Waugh and Innes; M. Keene.
- Even the devil himself contributes in some way to the glory of God, though contrary to his wish.
- God is the Creator of the wicked, not of their wickedness; He is the Author of their being, but not the Infuser of their sin.
- Fatalism has no place for a personal God.
- How unworthy is it for dust and ashes, kneaded together in time, to strut against the Father of eternity! Much more unworthy for that which is nothing, worse than nothing, to quarrel with that which is only being, and equal himself with him that inhabits eternity.
- God is the most simple being; for that which is first in nature, having nothing beyond it, cannot by any means be thought to be compounded.